nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH travel terms and conditions for sea cruises
Dear customers and travellers,
The following conditions shall be, insofar as effectively agreed, the content of the contract between the customer and nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH, hereinafter “nc”, for the package travel contract drawn up during the conclusion of the contract. They supplement the statutory provisions of §§ 651a - y BGB (German Civil Code) and Articles 250 and 252 of the EGBGB (Introductory Act to the BGB) and complete them. Please read these terms and conditions carefully before booking! Although the utmost of care was exercised in translating these Conditions of Travel into English, attention is expressly drawn to the fact that only and exclusively the German version entitled “Reisebedingungen der nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH für Seekreuzfahrten” is legally binding.
1. Conclusion of the package travel contract, customer obligations
1.1. The following applies to all booking methods:
a) The offer of nc and the customer’s booking are based on the travel description and the supplementary information from nc for the respective trip, insofar as these are available to the customer at the time of booking.
b) Travel agents and booking offices are not authorised by nc to make agreements, provide information or make any assurances that alter the agreed content of the package travel contract, go beyond or contradict the travel description or the services contractually agreed by nc.
c) Information in hotel guides and similar directories that are not published by nc are not binding for nc and nc's obligation to perform, unless they have been made part of nc's obligation to perform by express agreement with the customer.
d) If the content of the travel confirmation from nc differs from the content of the booking, there will be a new offer from nc, to which nc is bound for a period of 3 working days. The contract is concluded on the basis of this new offer, insofar as nc has referred to the change with regard to the new offer and fulfilled its pre-contractual information requirements and the customer declares acceptance to nc within the binding period via express declaration or down payment.
e) The pre-contractual information provided by nc on essential characteristics of travel services, the travel price and all additional costs, the terms of payment, the minimum number of participants and the cancellation fee (in accordance with Article 250 § 3 Number 1, 3 to 5 and 7 EGBGB) will then only not be part of the package travel contract if this is expressly agreed between the parties.
f) The customer is liable for all the contractual obligations of the fellow travellers for whom they make the booking, as well as their own, insofar as they have accepted a corresponding obligation by express and separate declaration.
1.2. For the booking, which is made verbally, by phone, in writing, by e-mail or by fax, the following applies:
a) By booking, nc offers the customer the binding conclusion of the package travel contract. The customer is bound to the booking for 3 working days.
b) The contract is concluded upon receipt of the travel confirmation (declaration of acceptance) by nc. Upon or immediately after conclusion of the contract, nc will provide the customer with a legal confirmation of the travel confirmation on a permanent data medium (which enables the customer to keep the declaration unchanged or store it for a reasonable time, e.g. on paper or via e-mail), unless the traveller is entitled to a written confirmation of travel in accordance with Art. 250 § 6 (1) Sentence 2 EGBGB because the conclusion of the contract occurred in the simultaneous physical presence of both parties or outside of business premises.
1.3. For bookings in electronic commerce (e.g. internet, app, tele-media), the following apply to the conclusion of the contract:
a) The customer will be informed about the process of electronic booking in the corresponding application of nc.
b) The customer is able to correct their information, delete or reset the entire booking form, and the use of this correction option is explained to them.
c) The contractual languages used to carry out the online booking are indicated. Only German is legally relevant.
d) If the nc contract text is stored in the online booking system, the customer willbe informed about this and will be given the option to retrieve the contract text at a later date.
e) By pressing the “Book and pay” button, nc offers the customer the binding conclusion of the package travel contract. The customer is bound to this contractual offer for three working days from the date of sending the electronic declaration.
f) The customer is immediately informed of the receipt of their booking by electronic means.
g) The submission of the booking by pressing the “Book and pay” button does not justify any claim of the customer to the conclusion of a package travel contract according to their booking details. Rather, nc is free to either accept or decline the customer’s contract offer.
h) The contract comes into effect when the customer has access to the travel confirmation sent by nc.
i) If this travel confirmation appears immediately after the customer makes the booking by pressing the “Book and pay” button via the immediate presentation of the travel confirmation on the screen (booking in real-time), the customer has access to the package travel contract and the travel confirmation is displayed on the customer’s screen. Failing this, the customer will receive an interim notification regarding receipt of their booking in accordance with f), insofar as the customer is given the option of saving the travel confirmation on a permanent data medium and printing it out. However, the binding nature of the package travel contract is not dependent on the customer actually using these options for storage or printout. nc will also provide the customer with a copy of the travel confirmation in text form.
1.4. nc points out that according to the legal regulations (§§ 312 Paragraph 7, 312g Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 no. 9 BGB) for package travel contracts pursuant to § 651a and § 651c BGB (German Civil Code), that there is no right of cancellation for contracts concluded via distance selling (letters, catalogues, telephone calls, faxes, e-mails, messages sent via mobile services (SMS), as well as by radio, tele-media and online services), but only the statutory rights of withdrawal and termination, in particular the right of withdrawal according to § 651h BGB (see also Section 5). There is, however, a right of cancellation if the contract for travel services pursuant to § 651a BGB was concluded outside of business premises, unless the oral proceedings on which the conclusion of the contract is based have been conducted on the prior appointment of the consumer; in the latter case, there is no right of cancellation.
2.1. nc and travel agents may only claim or accept payments for the travel price prior to the completion of the package tour if there is an effective customer money protection contract and the customer has been provided with the risk coverage documents with the name and contact details of the credit institute in a clear, understandable and highlighted manner. Upon conclusion of the contract, a down payment of 20% of the travel price will be due for payment upon delivery of the risk coverage documents. The final payment is due 30 days prior to departure, provided that the risk coverage document has been handed over and the trip can no longer be cancelled for the reason stated in Section 8. For bookings with less than 30 days to go before departure, the entire travel price is due immediately.
2.2. If the customer does not make the down payment and/or the final payment in accordance with the agreed payment terms, although nc is willing and able to provide the contractual services properly, has fulfilled its statutory information obligations and the customer has no legal or contractual right of retention, then nc is entitled, after sending a reminder with a deadline, to withdraw from the package travel contract and to charge the customer cancellation costs in accordance with Section 5.
3. Changes to the content of the contract prior to departure, which do not affect the travel price
3.1. Deviations in key features of the travel services from those outlined in the content of the package travel contract which became necessary after the conclusion of the contract and were carried out by nc in good faith are permitted to nc before departure, insofar as the deviations are insignificant and do not affect the overall arrangement of the booked trip.
3.2. nc is obligated to inform the customer of service changes as soon as the reason for the change is known via a permanent medium (e.g. via e-mail, SMS or voice message) in a clear, understandable and emphasised manner.
3.3. In the event of any material change to any essential feature of a travel service or deviation from the customer's specific requirements that have become part of the package travel contract, the customer shall be entitled within a reasonable time limit set by nc upon notification of the change to either accept the amendment or to withdraw from the package travel contract free of charge. If the customer does not expressly declare to nc their withdrawal from the package travel contract within the deadline set by nc, the change shall be deemed accepted.
3.4. Any warranty claims remain unaffected to the extent that the changed services are flawed. If nc incurred lower costs when carrying out the modified journey or any replacement tour of equivalent quality, the difference should be reimbursed to the customer in accordance with § 651m Para. 2 BGB
4. Price increase; price reduction
4.1. nc reserves the right, in accordance with § 651f, 651g BGB (German Civil Code) and the following regulations, to increase the travel price agreed in the package travel contract, insofar as
a) an increase in the price of transporting passengers due to higher fuel or other energy costs,
b) an increase in taxes and other charges for agreed travel services, such as tourist taxes, harbour or airport charges, or
c) a change in the exchange rates applicable to the package concerned directly affects the travel price.
4.2. An increase in the travel price is only permitted if nc clearly and comprehensibly informs the traveller about the price increase and its reasons in text form and informs them of the calculation of the price increase.
4.3. The price increase is calculated as follows:
a) If the price for the transport of persons according to 4.1a) is increased, nc may increase the travel price in accordance with the following calculation:
• In the event of a seat-based increase, nc may charge the customer for the increase.
• Otherwise, the additional transport costs required by the transport company for each means of transport will be divided by the number of seats of the agreed means of transport. nc can claim payment for the resulting increase amount for the individual seat from the customer.
b) In the event of an increase in taxes and other charges according to 4.1b), the travel price may be increased by the corresponding pro rata amount.
c) In the event of an increase in exchange rates according to 4.1c), the travel price can be increased to the extent that the journey has become more expensive for nc
4.4. nc is obliged to provide the customer/traveller with a reduction of the travel price at his request, if and to the extent that the prices, charges or exchange rates specified in 4.1a) -c) have changed after the conclusion of the contract and this leads to lower costs for nc before departure. If the customer/traveller has paid more than the amount owed hereafter, the excess amount shall be reimbursed to them by nc. However, nc may deduct the administrative expenditure that has been incurred by nc from the amount to be reimbursed. nc must prove to the customer/traveller, at their request, the cost of administrative expenses that have been incurred.
4.5. Price increases are only permitted up to 20 days before the start of the cruise.
4.6. In the event of price increases of more than 8%, the customer is entitled within a reasonable time limit set by nc upon notification of the price increase to either accept the change or to withdraw from the package travel contract free of charge. If the customer does not expressly declare to nc their withdrawal from the package travel contract within the deadline, the change shall be deemed accepted.
5. Cancellation by the customer before the start of the cruise/Cancellation costs
5.1. The customer may withdraw from the package travel contract at any time before the start of the trip. Their withdrawal should be declared to nc at the above/below address, or, if booked through a travel agent, the withdrawal declaration can also be sent to them. We recommend the customer withdraw from the contract in writing.
5.2. If the customer withdraws before the start of the journey or if the customer does not start the journey, nc is not entitled to receive the travel price. Instead, nc can demand reasonable compensation, insofar as withdrawal is not the responsibility of nc. nc cannot claim compensation for unavoidable, extraordinary circumstances at the destination or in its immediate vicinity which significantly affect the operation of the package tour or the transport of persons to the destination; Circumstances are unavoidable and extraordinary if they are not under the control of nc and their consequences could not have been avoided even if all reasonable precautions had been taken.
5.3. nc has determined the following compensation charges taking into account the period between the withdrawal notice and the start of the journey, as well as the expected expense savings and the expected purchase through other uses of the travel services. Charges will be calculated after the time of receipt of the notice of withdrawal using the following scale:
a) Cruises from the main catalogue, trips without any special labels
up to 150 days before departure: 10%;
up to 90 days before departure: 20%;
up to 45 days before departure: 30%;
up to 30 days before departure: 50%;
up to 10 days before departure: 75%;
up to one day before departure: 90%;
and on the day of departure or in the event of non-attendance 95% of the agreed travel price
b) Promotional trips at special prices (designated as: “special offers”)
up to 90 days before departure 30%;
up to 45 days before departure 40%;
up to 30 days before departure 60%;
up to 10 days before departure 85%;
up to one day before departure 90%;
and on the day of departure or in the event of non-attendance 95% of the agreed travel price
c) Cancellation of single beds (individual cruise participants) in double or multiple bed cabins (trips from the main catalogue)
up to 90 days before departure 60%;
from 89 to 45 days before departure 80%;
from 44 to 10 days before departure 90%,
from 9 days until the departure day or in the event of non-attendance 95%
of the agreed travel price.
d) Cancellation of single beds (individual cruise participants) in double or multiple bed cabins (special offers)
up to 90 days before departure 70%;
from 89 to 45 days before departure 90%;
from 44 days until the departure day
or in the event of non-attendance 95%
of the agreed travel price.
5.4. The customer is free to prove to nc that nc did not incur any losses or a far lower loss than the cancellation charge demanded by nc.
5.5. nc reserves the right to demand a higher, specific compensation sum in lieu of the aforementioned lump sums, provided that nc proves that nc incurred significantly higher expenses than the respective applicable lump sum. In this case, nc is obliged to quantify and substantiate the required compensation, taking into account the saved expenses and any other use of travel services.
5.6. If nc is obliged to refund the travel price due to a cancellation, nc must provide it without undue delay, but in any case within 14 days of receipt of the cancellation notice.
5.7. According to § 651 e BGB (German Civil Code), when notifying nc on a permanent medium requesting a third party to enter into the rights and obligations under the package travel contract in their stead, the customer’s legal rights remains unaffected by the above conditions. Such a declaration is considered timely if nc is informed 7 days before the start of the journey.
5.8. Taking out travel cancellation insurance and insurance to cover repatriation costs in case of accident or illness is strongly recommended.
6.1. The customer may not claim for changes regarding the travel date, the travel destination, the place of travel, the accommodation, the type of food, the type of transport or other services (transfers) after the conclusion of the contract. This does not apply if the rebooking is necessary because nc has not provided any information or has provided insufficient or false pre-contractual information to the traveller pursuant to Art. 250 § 3 EGBGB; in this case, the rebooking is free. If, in other cases, a rebooking is made at the request of the customer, nc may charge a rebooking fee from the customer for each traveller affected by the rebooking, subject to the following deadlines. Unless otherwise agreed on a case-by-case basis prior to the rebooking being agreed, the rebooking fees are as follows:
Trips from the main catalogue, trips without any special labels
Fee per person in euros
Up to 210 days 50%
From 209 to 150 days 100%
Customer rebooking requests that take place after expiration of the deadlines as well as rebooking requests that concern special offer trips at special prices, can, if their execution is possible at all, only be carried out after withdrawal from the travel contract according to Section 5 in line with the conditions and the making of a new reservation. This does not apply to rebooking requests that only incur minor costs. Previously promised cabin numbers cannot be taken into account when rebooking.
7. Unused services
If the traveller accepts individual travel services, for whose contractual provision nc was prepared and able to provide, and does not make use of these services for their own reasons, the traveller has no claim to the partial reimbursement of the travel price, insofar as such reasons would not have entitled them to free withdrawal or termination of the travel contract in accordance with the legal conditions. nc will seek reimbursement of the expenses saved from the service providers. This obligation is waived if the services are completely insignificant.
8. Withdrawal due to the minimum participant number not being met
8.1. nc may withdraw the travel offer if the minimum number of participants is not reached in accordance with the following provisions:
a) The minimum number of participants and the latest date of receipt of the declaration of withdrawal from nc by the customer must be stated in the respective pre-contractual information
b) nc must indicate the minimum number of participants and the latest withdrawal period in the travel confirmation
c) nc is obligated to immediately notify the customer of the cancellation of the trip if it is stablished that the journey will not be carried out due to the minimum number of participants not being reached.
d) Cancellation by nc later than 30 days before departure is not permitted. 8.2. If the trip is not carried out for this reason, the customer will immediately receive reimbursement of the travel price they have paid, Section 5.6. applies accordingly.
9. Obligations of the customer/traveller
9.1. Travel documents
The customer has to inform nc or the travel agent, through whom the customer booked the package holiday, if they do not have the necessary travel documents (e.g. flight ticket, hotel voucher) within the deadline communicated by nc.
9.2. Notice of defects/Demand for remediation
a) If the trip is not provided free of defects, the traveller may request remediation.
b) Insofar as nc could not remedy the situation as a result of a culpable neglect of the notice of defects, the traveller cannot assert any compensation claims according to § 651m BGB (German Civil Code) or claims for damages according to § 651n BGB
c) The traveller is obligated to promptly provide the nc representative on-site with their notice of defects. If there is no local nc representative, any travel deficiencies shall be reported to nc through the contact provided by nc; accessibility of the nc representative or its contact on-site will be mentioned in the travel confirmation. The traveller can, however, also take the notice of defect to the travel agent through which the package holiday was booked.
d) The nc representative is instructed to remedy the issue, if this is possible. They are not authorised to recognise any claims.
9.3. Termination deadline
If the customer/traveller wants to terminate the package travel contract due to a deficiency of the kind specified in § 651i Para. (2) BGB (German Civil Code), insofar as is substantial, according to § 651l BGB, nc must be set a reasonable deadline for remedial action. This does not apply if the remedial actions of nc are refused or if immediate remedial action is required.
9.4. Baggage damage and delayed luggage during air travel; special rules & deadlines for requests for remedial action
a) The traveller is advised that luggage loss, damage and delay related to air travel in accordance with the aviation regulations must be reported on-site immediately through a notice of loss ("P.I.R.") filed with the responsible airline. Airlines and nc may refuse to pay out refunds under international conventions if the notice of loss has not been completed. The notice of loss must be refunded within 7 days in case of damage to the baggage and within 21 days after delivery in case of delay.
b) In addition, the loss, damage or misdirection of baggage shall be reported immediately to nc, its representative or contact point or the travel agent. This does not release the traveller from their obligation to file a loss report with the airline in accordance with a) within the deadlines stated above.
10. Limitation of liability
10.1. The contractual liability of nc for damages that are not the result of injury to life, body or health and were not culpably caused is limited to the triple the travel price. Any further claims under the Montreal Convention or the Aviation Act remain unaffected by this limitation of liability.
10.2. nc is not liable for service interruptions, personal injury and material damages in connection with third-party services only (e.g. contracted excursions, sport events, theatre visits, exhibitions), if these services were explicitly stated as being provided by third parties and the identity and address of the contractor was clearly indicated in the travel description and travel confirmation so that the traveller could clearly see they were not part of the nc package holiday and were selected separately. Sections 651b, 651c, 651w and 651y BGB remain unaffected.
10.3. nc shall be liable, however, if and to the extent that violation of the information, explanation or organisational duties of nc was the cause of damage to the traveller. 11. Assertion of claims, recipients Claims according to § 651i Para. (3) no. 2, 4-7 BGB are to be asserted to nc by the customer/traveller. The assertion may also be made through the travel agent if the package holiday was booked through this travel agent. The contractual claims listed in § 651 i Para. (3) BGB become time-barred after two years. The limitation period starts on the day on which the journey ends according to the contract. We recommend making a claim in writing.
12. Information requirements for the identity of the operating airline
12.1. In accordance with EU guidelines, nc will inform the customer of the identity of the operating airline(s) prior to booking or at the latest at the time of booking, for all of the air transportation services to be rendered as part of the booked trip.
12.2. If the operating airline(s) have not yet been determined at the time of booking, nc is obliged to provide the customer with the name of the airline or airlines that are likely to operate the flight. As soon as nc knows who will be operating the flight, nc will inform the customer.
12.3. If the operating airline stated to the customer changes, nc will immediately inform the customer of the change and provide them with suitable information regarding this change.
12.4. The "Black List" established in accordance with the EC regulations (airlines prohibited from using the airspace over the member states) is available on the nc website or directly via ec. europa.eu/transport/modes/ air/safety/air-ban/index_de.htm and at the offices of nc.
13. Passport, visa and health regulations
13.1. nc will inform the customer/traveller of general passport and visa requirements, as well as the health formalities of the country of destination, including the approximate time limits for obtaining any necessary visas prior to conclusion of the contract and any changes to these prior to departure
13.2. The customer is responsible for procuring and carrying the officially required travel documents, getting any necessary vaccinations and compliance with customs and foreign exchange regulations. Disadvantages resulting from non-compliance with these regulations, e.g. the payment of cancellation fees, are at the expense of the customer/traveller. This does not apply if nc has not provided information or has provided insufficient or incorrect information.
13.3. nc shall not be liable for the timely issuance and receipt of necessary visas from the respective diplomatic representation if the customer has entrusted nc with the procurement, unless nc has culpably neglected its own obligations.
Tour operator is:
nicko cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH
Mittlerer Pfad 2 • D-70499 Stuttgart
Tel. +49 (0) 711 24 89 80 33
Fax +49 (0) 711 24 89 80 77
Local court Stuttgart - Bad Cannstatt
Managing Directors: Guido Laukamp, Carsten Keil
These conditions replace all previous ones.
Valid as of December 2018